Important Dates for Action Group Members
Diabetes Patients Face Alarming Increases in Pharmacy Costs
Seeking Members Who Have Implemented the National Diabetes Prevention Program
Health Care Financing Task Force Meetings Launch
NO COST Access to Evidence-based Interventions
New Guidelines: All Adults Should be Screened for Depression
For Members Only: Toolkits and Purchaser’s Guides for Members
NBCH 20th Annual Conference: Free Registration for our Members
Express Roundup: Top Stories from Our Weekly Newsletter
Costs for specialty drugs for specific chronic conditions comprised more than a quarter of all pharmacy costs in 2013, and continue to rise at an unsustainable pace. A new infographic from the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) highlights how these costs are taking a toll on patients with diabetes.
Key findings include:
The Action Group will be engaging employers and insurers in four funded communities to help them build and create tools to prevent diabetes, optimizing the success of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP). We are currently looking for Action Group members who are either planning to implement – or have already implemented – NDPP. We want to learn more about why you chose to adopt NDPP, and how you’re using (or plan to use) the program. We would also like you to discuss your NDPP experience during our September 24 member meeting, which will focus on the bigger picture of how employee health and wellness contributes to the success of organizations.
“We are very excited to be supporting and promoting this important evidence-based lifestyle change program,” says Nayila Yaro, The Action Group’s NDPP project coordinator. “I’m looking forward to working with employers throughout Minnesota in turning the tide on this growing public health threat. We will also be looking for opportunities to help employers use NDPP to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s new incentives that build on existing wellness program policies to promote employer wellness programs and encourage opportunities to support healthier workplaces.”
Please contact Nayila with your NDPP story! Email: email@example.com, or phone: 651-329-4019.
The first meeting of the newly created Health Care Financing Task Force was largely procedural and a review of contextual information. The 29-member group, co-chaired by Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and Sahra Noor, CEO of People’s Center Health Services, heard overview presentations on Federal 1332 innovation waivers, cost and trends of commercial insurance, and touched on some of the group’s priorities at a very high level.
Manatt, the consulting group providing support for the Task Force, conducted initial interviews with all members to get a sense of the areas of greatest interest. The top three were building a more seamless insurance coverage continuum, making the system more financially sustainable, and developing an integrated eligibility system.
Early indications are that Task Force meeting agendas will not include diving deeply into the minutia of specific aspects of the health care system. Instead, the focus will be on “big picture” issues and goals. According to the Task Force’s authorizing legislation, a report is due back to the Legislature in January of 2016, leaving a very short amount of time to accomplish the work.
The Action Group will continue to monitor these meetings and keep you updated. If you have any thoughts or questions, please contact Carolyn Pare. Background materials from the first meeting can be found here.
The Action Group has agreed to Assist Community Health Advisor in conducting research about the new online resources. If you are willing to participate in a brief focus group following our September 24 member meeting, please contact Carolyn Pare.
Community Health Advisor (the Advisor) is an exciting new resource to help those who want to reduce smoking and increase physical activity in their organizations and communities. Created by HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research, the Advisor provides customizable information about the potential health and cost impact of implementing evidence-based interventions – and is available at no cost to users.
The Advisor starts with policies and programs recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force. It builds on those recommendations by providing customizable information. For example, how would smoking rates or obesity prevalence change if policies and programs were implemented? What would be the impact of changes in smoking and physical activity rates on illness and death from cancer, cardiovascular disease, or other conditions? And how would medical care costs change with changes in health?
The Advisor includes the following features:
An estimated one in 10 Americans experience depression at some point in their lives. Depression can have a significant impact on quality of life, and it is the leading cause of disability among individuals in the U.S. age 15 and older. The most commonly used tool for depression screening is the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9), which includes nine questions aimed at pinpointing depression indicators.
A 2009 recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) stated that adults should be screened in doctors’ offices “when staff-assisted depression care supports are in place, and selective screening based on professional judgment and patient preferences when such support is not available.” The latest recommendation from the USPSTF states that doctors should now screen all adults aged 18 and older using the PHQ9.
Through Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE), The Action Group rewards clinics that are successfully reducing the impact of depression on the individual, their families and employers. MNBTE advances care delivery and outcomes by rewarding clinics for meeting or exceeding a strict set of care standards for patients with depression, diabetes and vascular disease, which are primary health care cost drivers.
During the recent MNBTE Recognition Event, Sue Abderholden, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota, thanked the many clinicians and employers in attendance for their work in helping people recover from depression. “Providing hope for recovery is the best reward of all,” she says. Click here to see Sue’s though-provoking blog.
With open enrollment planning under way, it’s a good time to review the toolkits and Purchaser’s Guides available to members.
Purchaser’s Guides are available through the Member Center at mnhealthactiongroup.org. If you’ve forgotten your login credentials, you will be prompted to request re-set instructions.
This year’s NBCH Annual Conference, Achieving Health Care Value: No Purchaser is an Island, will be held in Dallas, TX, November 16-18, 2015. Action Group employer members are welcome to register without a fee, which is normally $850 for non-members and $500 for members. Click here to learn more and to register.